6 simple hand-sewing projects you can do without a machine
Contrary to what you might think about sewing, you don’t need a machine to create your crafty projects. A needle and thread are useful tools that, with a little time and patience, will have you doing everything from mending your clothes to making fun DIY projects.
Whether you’re reattaching a button, mending a hole, or embarking on your first sewing project, learning the basics of hand sewing is essential. You’ll want to learn several stitches (it’s easy to do on YouTube), then take some thread or embroidery floss and practice on an old t-shirt.
Once you feel like you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready to get creative. Scroll down for some handmade sewing inspiration.
Scroll down for the simple hand sewing projects that you’ll actually use.
Follow this hands-on Chelsey DIY video to make your own fluffy cookie keychain. With a running stitch and simple embroidered “counters”, this project will be completed quickly. Gather some upholstery material and get ready for all the compliments on your new accessory.
Flannel hand warmer
Got an old flannel in your closet? Otherwise, buy a cheap one from a local thrift store. You’ll want to craft these soft hand warmers to keep you toasty warm when the temperature drops in the fall. Make them in pairs of two with these instructions from Sadie Seasongoods.
The filling is standard white rice. While the instructions say to use a machine, hand stitching the edges with a tight pass stitch is just as easy along these short appearances. These durable and recycled hand warmers also make great gifts for the family during the holidays.
One of the best starter projects for beginner sewers is the simple drawstring pouch. Whether you are using a machine or sewing by hand, these bags can vary in size from tiny to huge. Use them to store everything from earrings to your delicate laundry. All you will need is two rectangular pieces of fabric of the same size or one large long piece that you will fold in half (this saves you from sewing the bottom seam). With thread, a needle and a cord, your bag will be complete. Watch this video from Din Life. Although there is no narration, the steps are intuitive and well illustrated.
Felt is ideal for hand sewing. It’s sturdy, comes in bright colors, and is more compatible with wide and spaced stitches. Plus, it doesn’t fray.
Choose a sheet of felt and wrap it around your favorite notebook to gauge its size. Fabric covers often fit notebooks better with cardboard or other stiff material as a base. The felt should wrap around the vertical edges of the cover and extend two to three inches inside the book. Vertically, give yourself about an extra half inch of felt above and below the blanket. Take your needle and thread, preferably in a nice accent color. Use the blanket stitch to sew the felt flaps together above and below the blanket, creating two pockets that the blanket will slip into. The result is a whole new look for your laptop, like the ones created by Instagram user Kelly Hill.
Another felt hand sewing project is ornaments. These Christmas-themed crafts are accessible. Although hand sewing is more laborious, it allows for the addition of bead embellishments, sequins or other embroidered embellishments. This National Sewing Circle video is an ideal introduction to this project. From reindeer to mittens, your Christmas tree will be festive in felt.
The scrunchie is another ’90s necessity that is making a comeback. For your fabric, choose shiny patterns or subtle tones, depending on your personal style. Using fabric, hair ties, needles and thread, work alongside YouTuber Sophie Li in her easy-to-follow video. Your darling will join the list of useful and stylish items that you have learned to sew by hand.
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